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In spring 2017, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that South Carolina comply with the federal government’s Real ID and begin issuing Real ID driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the federal standard.

Pendulum is swinging

Not long after, the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles started accepting identity documents for people interested in purchasing the new style of license or ID.

More than a million South Carolinians have obtained a Real ID. But many of more than 3 million licensed drivers in the state have not -- and the clock is ticking.

Effective Oct. 1, 2020, South Carolina residents will need Real ID Act-compliant licenses to fly on airplanes, enter federal buildings or go into military bases.

Give tree life after Christmas

SCDMV Executive Director Kevin Shwedo continues to warn that people will see long lines amid the scramble to get Real ID. State officials estimate only 40% of the state's eligible population will have the new cards when the deadline hits.

While Real ID is not necessary to drive, vote or apply for federal benefits, the fact is that most people will need a card eventually. The IDs are required under the 2005 federal law enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

To obtain a Real ID at any SCDMV office at a cost of $25, a person needs to provide:

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• A government-issued birth certificate or U.S. passport.

• Proof of Social Security number.

• Two proofs of current S.C. address.

• Records of any name changes.

Some people – those with documents on file with DMV -- are eligible to get a Real ID online. Find out if you are one of them at https://www.scdmvonline.com/Public/Transactions/Info.aspx

Getting the new IDs is important. The deadline is approaching. Don’t be among those waiting until they need one in 2020 to board a plane, enter a federal building or go onto a military base.

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